Amsterdam: Dutch football legend Johan Cryuff believes Barcelona could not have beaten Juventus 3-1 in the Champions League final without their Argentine forward Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi. Pic/AFP
Messi was expected to put up a grand show in Berlin but he failed to score. While Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar all had their names on the score sheet, the Argentine was tied down by Juventus for much of the game on Saturday.
But Cruyff argued that it was eventually Messi's hard work and sacrifice for the team that eventually led to Barcelona winning the trophy.
"It was a fun Champions League final to watch, also because Barcelona and Juventus both played as we all expected," the Dutchman was quoted as saying by goal.com on Monday.
"With his style of play, Messi relieved his team. Against Juventus, you could see how he works at Barcelona.
"You didn't see him participate in a lot of moves, but just check how often he put pressure on his direct opponent and won back ball posession. How many free-kicks did he win?"